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August 14, 2020

5 Reasons to Use CBD for Your Aging Dog

Has your pup begun to show signs of aging? There are plenty of good reasons to incorporate CBD into an aging dog’s health and wellness regimen. As pet parents, we can’t help but think of our dogs as eternally boundless puppies. Even though it’s difficult to admit, we know the dogs we love will eventually enter their senior years. Once our dogs’ golden years are upon us, it’s important to watch for signs and symptoms of health conditions related to aging. When we identify issues, we can take steps to help our fur babies age comfortably and happily.

When Do Our Dogs Become Seniors?

We typically attach an age to the designation of elderly or senior when we speak of people. Categorizing a dog as a senior includes many other factors besides age. Our pooches’ senior status hinges on other things such as genetics, environmental conditions, overall health, and diet. Each of these examples impacts how rapidly dogs age. Once they begin showing signs of age-related health issues, they fall under the umbrella of senior, regardless of their exact age.

What Signs of Aging Do I Have to Look Out For?

As our dogs age, their bodies begin to show the impact of genetic and environmental factors, as well as stressors and traumatic events in their lives. Lungs develop scar tissues, skin becomes fragile, fur isn’t as shiny, and muscles weaken. Aging is not a disease, but it does come with a range of symptoms that cause discomfort and challenges for our pooches.

Our aging dogs face issues that range from mild to severe. The biggest concerns for the vast majority of senior dogs are mobility, joint problems, and osteoarthritis. Yet, our aging dogs can also suffer from cognitive challenges such as difficulties with memory, anxiety, and depression. Although less common, senior dogs sometimes experience gastrointestinal problems and other diseases like cancer.

What Can I Do to Help My Aging Dog?

Regardless of the issues our senior pups face, our focus must be on keeping them as comfortable as possible. We can positively impact their quality of life by addressing symptoms and issues as soon as we notice them. Our dogs’ golden years also provide an opportunity to maintain and further strengthen the bond we have with them. Emotional support and love are invaluable to them during this delicate phase of their life.

For dogs with mobility issues, even small environmental changes can make a noticeable difference in their comfort level. For example, you can add rugs and carpets on slippery tile, wood, or laminate floors to help provide more traction for your pups. This helps them get around easier and reduces stress on their aging joints. Improving your dogs’ mobility also helps them feel secure and strengthens their bond with us because it allows them to move freely around the house.

If your senior dog suffers from cognitive issues, you can play special enrichment games to help keep their mind sharp. Some special foods also support healthy brain function.

An unrecognizable elderly woman sitting outdoors on a terrace on a sunny day in autumn, petting an old dog whose head is on her lap

Finally, one thing that can potentially offer ample help to an aging pooch is cannabidiol, more commonly referred to as CBD. Hemp-derived CBD is one of the many active compounds in the cannabis plant. Continued study of CBD’s benefits reveals it has a wide range of properties that may help pets cope with the symptoms of aging, so they can continue to live happy and healthy lives. Additionally, hemp CBD supports general health and wellness overall for your pups.

CBD comes in many forms, but the foundation for most products is the oil extracted from the cannabis plant.  Let’s take a look at five reasons to give CBD oil to your aging dog.

5 Reasons to Try CBD Oil for Your Aging Dog

1. CBD Can Help With Discomfort from Inflammation

Many senior dogs must cope with discomfort and/or pain due to inflammation. CBD can help the senior dog you love deal with their discomfort. Also, CBD oil is a natural alternative to anti-inflammatories that vets prescribe for pain and inflammation. Some of these drugs cause dreadful side effects in pets. CBD does not work the same way, but it can potentially help with symptomatic relief from inflammation.

2. CBD Can Help With Joint Health and Increased Mobility

Joint problems remain the leading issue for senior dogs and are typically a result of osteoarthritis. Difficulty with joints also leads to struggles with mobility. This common issue with senior dogs has spawned ample research on the way CBD affects dogs with osteoarthritis.

One study revealed that CBD significantly reduces osteoarthritis-related pain in dogs, and another found a significant decrease in pain and an increase in activity when dogs ingested CBD oil. Researchers also found CBD is a safe treatment option for dogs with joint problems and mobility issues resulting from osteoarthritis. The recommended serving size to increase comfort and activity is 2mg/kg of CBD two times per day to increase comfort and activity.

3. CBD Provides Cognitive Support

Aging dogs have much in common with aging people. Like us, dogs sometimes lose cognitive function as they get older. The result is symptoms associated with senility and dementia that leave them confused and disoriented. These feelings are just as scary for dogs as humans. It’s not uncommon for aging dogs to whine or bark for no apparent reason. Some also get lost in familiar surroundings. CBD cannot stop the aging process, but it can support brain function that potentially delays or reduces symptoms associated with a loss of cognitive function.

4. CBD Supports Calming and Relaxation

Many dogs suffer from anxiety and depression during their golden years. Sometimes this is a result of the cognitive issues we described above, but often our furry friends’ change in demeanor occurs because their senses have begun to deteriorate and create feelings of insecurity. CBD initiates a process in the brain that increases the availability of serotonin, a “feel-good” chemical. This release helps support relaxation and calmness in humans and canines alike. Okoa Pet “Hush, Puppy” CBD calming treats are formulated with our proprietary, organic, broad-spectrum hemp with naturally occurring CBD, CBG, CBC, and CBN. We pair the hemp with chamomile, choline, and tryptophan – a safe and effective combination to help calm anxious pups naturally.

5. CBD May Support Dogs with Seizures

CBD is relatively new for humans and even more so for canines. Thus far, CBD is only a medically-approved treatment for some types of epilepsy in children. The promise of this research has led the AKC to embark on a study to learn how CBD might impact seizures in dogs. Many dogs do not have seizures in their puppy years, but some develop them as they age. The research is still new and ongoing, but CBD might help reduce seizures and other epileptic events in your senior dog.

What Else Do I Need to Do or Know Before Giving CBD Oil to My Aging Dog?

Speak with Your Vet

You should always have a frank conversation with your vet about CBD use, especially if your pooch is taking other medications. CBD is an over-the-counter supplement that doesn’t require a prescription, but it still can interfere with the way your dog’s system processes other medications. Specifically, CBD can temporarily inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver, which are critical for metabolizing many medications your senior dog might be taking.

Choose a Quality CBD Product

Like everything else we buy, CBD products are not all equal. The FDA does not regulate CBD, so you will find a wide range of products on the market. You want to give only quality products to your furry friend. Look for CBD products that are formulated by a licensed veterinarian specifically for dogs. CBD oils that people use can be dangerous to dogs, especially when other ingredients are added to the product.

Another good rule of thumb is to look on a product’s website or ask for its “certificate of analysis (COA).” A COA shows you exactly what is in the CBD product and it also offers details about third-party lab testing. Avoid products that have pesticides or heavy metals and use the COA to ensure the product is the same quality as what is advertised. At Okoa Pet we are relentless about quality control, and post all of our COAs on our site.

Choose Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil

Research regarding dogs and THC (the psychoactive compound responsible for getting people high) is non-existent, and experts warn that THC could be harmful to dogs. You should avoid full-spectrum CBD that contains THC, but you can choose to buy broad-spectrum oil. Broad-spectrum oil does not have THC, but it does have many of the other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. A growing body of research suggests that all cannabinoids work together to support many of the benefits listed above because of a phenomenon called the entourage effect. When you give your pup broad-spectrum CBD oil they may also benefit from the entourage effect.

Okoa Pet “Happy-Go-Puppy” Joint Chews are formulated with our proprietary, organic, broad-spectrum hemp with naturally occurring CBD, CBG, CBC, and CBN. We pair the hemp with premium, proven ingredients such as green-lipped mussel and wild New Zealand roe oil to create a clean, all-natural, and uniquely effective supplement. “Happy-Go-Puppy” Joint Chews are THC-free and don’t contain any synthetic or artificial ingredients. 

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